Sen. Dawn Euer is heralding the sale of the Festival Field Apartments as a victory for much-needed affordable housing in Newport.
A New York-based real estate developer and operator, Fairstead, recently announced it has purchased the Festival Field Apartments, a 204-unit affordable housing complex at 90 Girard Ave., and that it plans to maintain it as affordable housing and invest in significant renovations for it.
What’s Up Newp was the first to report on the sale on March 26th –Festival Field Apartments sells for $33.25 million
“This apartment community could have been redeveloped as market-rate or even more expensive apartments that would have significantly reduced the availability and affordability of housing on our island. Instead, not only will it remain affordable, Fairstead will renovate every unit and the complex as a whole, making it a better home for all who live there,” said Senator Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) in a statement, who had been advocating for months for a commitment to maintain the property as affordable housing. “Newport, like many communities, is always at risk for losing affordable housing to gentrification and profit-based redevelopment, so it is a great relief to know that Festival Field will remain affordable and be improved.”
Fairstead, which describes itself as specializing in “the creation and preservation of quality, affordable multifamily housing,” purchased the property from California-based Sage Apartment Communities. The new owner announced it plans an “extensive property-wide rehabilitation in excess of $17 million, which will include the renovation of all roofs, sidings, windows, and boilers. In addition, 100 percent of units will receive new kitchens, flooring, cabinets and bathrooms. Fairstead will also be developing new ADA-accessible units and a state-of-the art community center.”
Fairstead’s cofounder and partner, Will Blodgett, said the company plans to invest $85,000 renovating each unit. The renovations are reportedly expected to take place over the next year.
“At a time when we could really use some good news, I couldn’t be happier with Fairstead’s plans for Festival Field. Its investment in the property will provide many Newport families with a stable, pleasant, enjoyable community that they can call home,” said Senator Euer in a statement.